Data Vis Dispatch,
December 14

The best of last week’s big and small data visualizations

Welcome back to the 26th edition of Data Vis Dispatch! Every week, we’ll be publishing a collection of the best small and large data visualizations we find, especially from news organizations — to celebrate data journalism, data visualization, simple charts, elaborate maps, and their creators.

Recurring topics this week include employment, tornadoes, and the omicron variant.

Let’s start gently — say, with sports:

The Washington Post: Stephen Curry’s remarkable rise to three-point king, December 10
The Economist: Why are cricket’s best captains batsmen?, December 10

Or maps looking forward to snow on Christmas:

CNN: A white Christmas is less likely for many. The Grinch to blame is climate change, December 11
Dominic Royé: “How likely is white Christmas in Europe? I estimated the climatic chance of snow on Christmas Eve in Europe based on ERA5-Land with snow depth greater than 1 cm,” December 10 (Tweet)

But all right, those weren’t the big stories of this week. That title belongs, again, to the spread of the omicron variant and the efforts to understand what makes it different:

The Economist: Early data on Omicron show surging cases but milder symptoms, December 11
Natalie Dean: “A sketch to explain how a new variant may appear milder even with no change in underlying virulence. This can occur because, when calculating the fraction of cases that are severe, the denominator now includes many re-infections that had previously been averted. A thread. 1/8,” December 9 (Tweet)
The Economist: Omicron is already dominant in South Africa, December 7
Financial Times: Surge in Omicron cases in Denmark and UK sends warning to rest of Europe, December 14

The New Statesman informed us that the UK has regained its dubious title of G7 country with the highest COVID case rate. It remains to be seen how existing immunity, the ongoing booster campaign, and other measures will hold up in the current wave — or how the NHS will make it through the second pandemic winter:

The New Statesman: The UK now has the highest Covid-19 case rate of any G7 country, December 13
Financial Times: Covid booster shots up to 75% effective against Omicron, UK study finds, December 10
The Times: One year of vaccines: what have we learnt?, December 8
The New Statesman: Why the advice to work from home won’t stop the Omicron variant from spreading, December 9
Financial Times: Covid risks deepening NHS ‘permanent winter’, December 14

Around the world, the hope is that vaccination will make this wave of disease less deadly, even as distribution challenges persist:

Neue Zürcher Zeitung: Der Zürcher Spital-Report: Füllen nur die Ungeimpften die Spitäler? Und warum sind die Intensivstationen bereits voll belegt?, December 11
The New York Times: What Data Shows About Vaccine Supply and Demand in the Most Vulnerable Places, December 9
Zeit Online: Die Boosterlücke schrumpft, December 9

Finally, a huge number of charts this week focused on the economic troubles of the COVID era. Tourism is down and inflation is up:

Straits Times: Flying during Covid-19: When will Singapore’s air travel take off again?, December 10
Financial Times: Travel industry’s tentative revival stalls as Omicron takes its toll, December 10
The New York Times: Food prices and rent surged in November, helping fuel inflation, December 10

Freight is slow by sea and expensive by air:

The Wall Street Journal: Stuck at Port for 54 Days: How One Ship’s Delays Hurt Small Businesses, December 7
Financial Times: Air freight costs soar to record high, December 13

And no one wants to predict what’s going on with employment:

The Washington Post: The industries where workers quit the most, December 8
The Wall Street Journal: Why U.S. Job Gains Are So Hard to Count During Covid-19, December 13
Financial Times: Economists predict complete ‘taper’ of Fed bond buying by end of March, December 8

Meanwhile the political section will be brief this week, with charts of party divisions in the US and Switzerland:

Reuters: Who are the Democrats?/Who are the Republicans?, December 10
Neue Zürcher Zeitung: Die Landbevölkerung siegt an der Urne und fühlt sich trotzdem von den Städtern dominiert, December 13
CNN: These lawmakers’ districts are at highest risk of flooding. Here’s where they stand on the climate crisis, December 10

A string of deadly tornadoes hit the US on Friday:

The Washington Post: Deadly path: How tornadoes ripped through states, December 11
The New York Times: Where the Tornadoes Struck, Destroying Buildings and Homes, December 11
El País: Cómo son y cómo se producen los tornados que han devastado el centro de EE UU, December 14

Finally, other topics included demographics in Germany, housing in Singapore, and the racial geography of Chicago:

SBS News: 올해의 인물, 앙겔라 메르켈, December 9
Straits Times: How have Singaporean homes changed over the decades?, December 11
FlowingData: What People Spend Most of Their Money On, By Income Group, Relatively Speaking, December 9
The Washington Post: Without access to charging stations, Black and Hispanic communities may be left behind in the era of electric vehicles, December 9
Politico: Black People Are Leaving Chicago en Masse. It’s Changing the City’s Power Politics, December 7

What else we found interesting

The New York Times: Postcards From a World on Fire, December 13
Le Monde: Le poisson à poumons, une bête d’évolution, December 12
Atlo: Fél Órára, December 13
El Confidencial: Operación Nollam. Cerco al grupo que asaltó la embajada de Corea, December 9

Help us make this dispatch better! We’d love to hear which newsletters, blogs, or social media accounts we need to follow to learn about interesting projects, especially from less-covered parts of the world (Asia, South America, Africa). Write us at or leave a comment below.